10:14 AM

No more mellow yellow!

Posted by Nicole |

Do you ever marvel at the bright colors that are naturally occurring in plants and vegetables? I love the vivid hues of beets, the stems and leaves of chard, all the green vegetables, bright yellow corn, dahlias, I could go on and on! The foods that are best for us are so attractively packaged in the most beautiful colors. And because we eat with all of our senses, it makes perfect sense that the first impression we have of a possible food choice be bright, colorful and appetizing. When foods are at peak season they are bright and alive with color. Some of my favorites lately are fresh strawberries and eggs.

Strawberries are a given - when ripe and fresh they are a gorgeous red throughout (not white in the middle as are often seen in grocery stores when picked too early and shipped from California). They are sweet and juicy. We can't get enough of them right now. Speaking of strawberries, has anyone tried making jam with a natural sweetener? I am hoping to can some jam next week and have only ever used refined white sugar...

Another food item, when in peak season and fresh that are bright and appealing are eggs! I know maybe I'm weird but there are many bloggers out there touting the benefits free-range eggs and I am one of them!

After my rant last week about budgets and cost of good food I felt a little guilty. I really want to feed my family good quality food, I don't want to have to make sacrifices. But I have to be realistic and rely on Grace. I may not be able to afford the best of everything but I do what I can and pray that the food we eat would be blessed to those I serve it to.

So after looking at my food budget I decided I had enough to buy some local eggs at one of my favorite farms. The goat farm as my kids know it as. They also have chicken and turkeys and there are fresh pastured eggs. We go and look at the animals, including the chickens (we stay a little away from the turkeys, they are big and loud!). I bought a dozen eggs (at $4 a dozen, that seems high compared to the grocery store!) and was excited to see what they looked like. I have been buying the organic eggs from Costco and found them to be nice and wanted to compare...

There is no comparison! The eggs from the farm are colorful (blue, brown, multi-colored, such that my kids call them Easter eggs). They have a nice firm shell and when cracked are a bright yellow-orange yolk with a thick white. I mean they are vivid, eye catching, beautiful yolks. I just want to eat them when I think of the color alone.

I did a little research to see what makes the color such that it is. The color of the yolk is determined by the hen's diet. Carotenoids in the feed of the hens are stored by healthy hens and them more of these colorful foods with yellow/red pigments in them the brighter the shade of yolk. Here are two sources of good information on eggs and pastured eggs (and meats). http://www.yellow-egg.com/wEnglish/das_gelbe_im_ei/Der_Eidotter.shtml?navid=18

So this time of year when pastured chickens are free to be in the sun, eating grass and bugs they produce the most bright, healthy eggs.

I also learned that although they don't have to label a sell-by date, on eggs that are processed in a USDA inspected plant the sell by date can't exceed 30 days past the pack date. Interesting. One site said eggs can be fine in the refrigerator for about three weeks after they are brought home! I couldn't find any information on how long eggs maintain their nutritional value in the fridge but most sites claim they stay fresh for weeks.

I may not be able to buy all my eggs at this farm but I will certainly supplement with these and enjoy every bite!


Hanna said...

I'm jealous of your strawberries, they haven't made it here just yet.

I've been looking at making jam with honey...but seems like I have to use special pectin, and I was hoping to do homemade pectin. Let me know what you decide on!

Nicole said...

Yes, I've seen that a different pectin is used. I haven't researched pectin much... What is homemade pectin?

"Farmer" Elaine said...

I also could not afford the pastured eggs, so I did the next best thing and got a few chickens. Nothing more entertaining that watching those ladies, and now our little home houses more than just chickens... they're addicting. YUMMY golden eggs.

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